Bench’s American Owner Talks Streetwear Lifestyle Footprint

Gordon Brothers Group is the new owner of British streetwear brand Bench Ltd.
The brand filed for administration — the U.S. equivalent of a bankruptcy filing — last April. Gordon Brothers acquired Bench’s intellectual property assets in a transaction that closed on Friday. The brand was owned by German private equity firm Emeram Capital, which acquired Bench in February 2014 from Americana International.
The brand is the latest to be hit by the slowdown in high-street fashion retail in the U.K.
Bench, launched in Manchester, England, in 1989, was one of the first streetwear fashion retailers, focusing initially on lifestyle products connected with the skate and BMX culture of the late Eighties and early Nineties. The brand expanded to include men’s, women’s and kids’ apparel. As of 2017, there were more than 80 Bench-branded stores across 20 countries in Europe and North America, as well as more than 2,000 wholesale points of distribution.
Ramez Toubassy, president of Gordon Brothers Brands, said his company is not disclosing the purchase price. His brand division is part of Gordon Brothers Group.
Toubassy said the European stores are in the process of closing. The stores in Canada, which he said are profitable, will continue with Bench’s partnership with Freemark Apparel

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